- Museum number
- Object: Venus Hebrew astrological amulet
Twenty-first century version of a silver Hebrew Renaissance style planetary talisman based upon a design first described by Cornelius Agrippa in 1531.
The obverse of the talisman features a magic number square known as the Kamea of Copper (Table of Venus) accompanied by Hebrew inscriptions relating to the planet.
The table is composed of 49 numbers arranged in a 7x7 grid pattern. Adding the numbers in each row, column or diagonal yields the number 175 (number of the secret council of Venus) while the total sum of the grid numbers is 1225 (number of the spirit or intelligence of Venus). On the left side of the grid lies the Hebrew characters for the name Hagiel (the Spirit or Angel of Venus, associated with the number 49) while the right side features the name Ahea (the Divine Name answering to Venus).
The reverse contains a set of Cabbalistic astrological symbols for Venus surrounded by a Latin inscription.
The central section features three symbols. The top symbol is composed of a cross with a circle, star and crescent shape and is the character or seal for Venus. The linear symbol on the bottom left represents Hagiel while the symbol on the right represents the Archangel Anael. This last symbol is the one generally used to represent Venus within western astrology.
- Production date
- 31 March 2011
Diameter: 33 millimetres
Weight: 21.20 grammes
- Curator's comments
Here the craftsman describes the process of creating this amulet:
‘I made this design by drawing it in AutoCAD. I converted the AutoCAD file into an Adobe PDF. I emailed the PDF file to a company that photo-etched the image into a sheet of metal. I cut out the metal, glued, shaped, and polished the two halves together. Next, I made a mould of the model. Using a wax injector I filled the mould with wax and removed the wax when it cooled. From this point I used the lost wax method to cast the piece.’
The timing of the piece was also astrologically significant, as Mr Coleman explains:
‘This piece was cast on March 31, 2011 (11:00 AM, MDT) in Boulder Colorado. Venus is highly dignified by exaltation, triplicity and term, and culminates (conjuncts the mid-heaven) at the planetary hour of Venus. Including the exact time, place and date that the talisman was made. A very important but often overlooked consideration when constructing talismans.’
E.A. Wallis Budge (/1978), 'Amulets and Superstitions', New York: Dover Publications Inc. (chapters VIII, XXI and XXII)
Joshua Trachtenberg (/2004), 'Jewish Magic and Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion', Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press (chapter 16)
T Schrire (1966), 'Hebrew Amulets: their decipherment and interpretation', London: Routledge and Kegan Paul (chapters 11 & 12)
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number